Tax Tip 2023-17:Free online tax help for military members and their families

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IRS Tax Tips February 9, 2023

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Issue Number: Tax Tip 2023-17  

Free online tax help for military members and their families

Military personnel who want free federal tax return filing have several options, including the Department of Defense’s MilTax and the IRS Free File program, which offers online tax preparation, electronic filing and direct deposit of refunds at no cost.

The Department of Defense provides MilTax as a free tax resource for the military community. MilTax is a suite of tax services available for members of the military, as well as qualifying veterans and family members. There are no income limits.

MilTax includes tax preparation and electronic filing software, personalized support from tax consultants and current information about filing taxes. It’s designed to address the realities of military life – including deployments, combat and training pay, housing and rentals and multi-state filings. Eligible taxpayers can use MilTax to electronically file a federal tax return and up to three state returns for free.

IRS Free File
Through this program, a public-private partnership between IRS and the Free File Inc, leading tax software providers make their online products available in both English and Spanish for free. Each IRS Free File provider sets its own eligibility rules based on age, income and state residency.

Taxpayers who made $73,000 or less in 2022 will likely find an offer from a Free File provider that matches their needs. Some providers also offer free state return preparation.

Taxpayers can go to the IRS Free File webpage at to find the right IRS Free File offer for them.

Once the taxpayer chooses a provider, they can follow the link to the provider’s webpage to complete and file their tax return. Free File’s guided preparation software can help taxpayers calculate things like their earned income tax credit and the child and dependent care credit. 

Free File Fillable Forms
While IRS Free File has an income cutoff, taxpayers with income over $73,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms. Fillable Forms don’t include guided preparation, so taxpayers need to be comfortable completing their own tax forms.

Extra time to file for military members serving overseas
Members of the military stationed overseas have more time to file their tax returns. Additional extensions are available for those serving in combat zones. However, those with spouses and families may choose to file as soon as they can to claim any tax benefits. If only one spouse is present to file a joint return, they must have proper authorization to file a joint tax return on behalf of their spouse.

More information:
Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide

Tax Information for Members of the Military

Share this tip on social media — #IRSTaxTip: Free online tax help for military members and their families.


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